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Ernie Goggins (the heart of the East End)

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Paradise With Serpents: Travels in the Lost World of Paraguay
Paradise With Serpents: Travels in the Lost World of Paraguay
by Robert Carver
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.76

2.0 out of 5 stars Loses its appeal fairly quickly, 7 Oct 2012
Unlike other reviewers I have not been to Paraguay so can't vouch for the accuracy of the book, but such enjoyment as I got out of the early chapters left with the endless, unnecessary rants about the UK welfare state and health and safety gone bad, and the sense that he was stringing not very much into 350 pages.

Christmas In The Heart
Christmas In The Heart
Offered by davehopetrading
Price: 8.88

17 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jesus will be turning in his grave, 30 Oct 2009
This review is from: Christmas In The Heart (Audio CD)
It is quite clear from some of these reviews that some people would give five stars to a recording of Bob Dylan farting in a phone box. This is utterly dreadful and that really is all there is to it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2009 8:09 PM GMT

East End Chronicles
East End Chronicles
by Ed Glinert
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.65

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting material, badly put together, 18 Aug 2006
This review is from: East End Chronicles (Paperback)
I think this book is well worth reading - as the previous reviewer noted there are a lot of fascinating stories and information in here, and to give the author he has dug up same real gems. But at the same time I was disappointed because with such rich material to work with the book could have been so much better.

It really cries out for a good editor. The thematic structure could work perfectly well and in some cases does (e.g. the chapter on the history of the Chinese in the East End) but at other times it seems random and repetitive.

For example, Jack the Ripper. Obviously you can't have a book about the East End without Jack the Ripper. But rather than cover it in a chapter on murder - a seemingly obvious place - we get 15 pages on it in a chapter on mystics and religion just because there has been speculation that some of the murders may have followed Masonic ritual. And we then got a lot of the detail repeated a little later on in a chapter on the Jews in the East End because there was also speculation that the Ripper might be Jewish.

I also found the imbalance between different subjects slightly odd and occasionally rather frustrating. For example, there is more space devoted to describing the route followed by Falk the 18th century alchemist on his daily walk than there is to the Black Death, which is dismissed in three paragraphs. In total we get eight pages on Falk, who is presumably one of the author's pet topics but is of at best limited interest to the rest of us.

In addition there are quite a lot of silly mistakes that could and should have been picked up (e.g. a statement that World War 2 started in 1940).

To sum up: it is worth reading anyway, but it is not half as good as it could have been given the subject matter.

Meridian 1970: Compiled by Jon Savage
Meridian 1970: Compiled by Jon Savage
Offered by Blind Owl Records
Price: 9.99

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly dreary, 21 April 2005
I bought this on the back of some rave reviews in the music press and knowing a few of the tracks, but found it dull and samey. I think there may have been an element of Emperor's new clothes about the reviews - this was compiled by legendary rock writer Jon Savage and I suspect none of his fellow journos could bring themselves to admit he had come up with a bit of a duffer. There is some good stuff here - Dave Mason, Jesse Winchester - but most of it is pretty dreary and far from the best work of some of the artists chosen (e.g. Nick Drake). Some of this is pretty obscure (plus points there), but listening to it you can understand why.
I entirely agree with the aim of "reclaiming" 1970, and there is a great compilation of music in this sort of style from that year - e.g. from albums such as Spirit's 'Twelve dreams of Dr Sardonicus', Dion's 'Sit down old friend' and in the UK from the sort of bands featured on Island Records 'Bumpers' sampler. But this isn't it.

Political Manifest [Feat. Mark Olson And Victoria Williams]
Political Manifest [Feat. Mark Olson And Victoria Williams]
Price: 9.57

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but still more polite than passionate, 14 July 2004
I don't know what it is with the Creekdippers. Built round Mark Olson and the wonderful Victoria Williams they ought to be magnificent - and when you see them live they are, ramshackle but passionate. With the exception of the excellent "My Own Jo Ellen" though it has never really come across on record. The rest of the albums sound almost as if they are doing them because they feel obliged to rather than because they believe in it.
This album has a bit more life to it, but again for what is supposed to be a savage indictment of the Bush regime it comes across as a bit polite and, with a few exceptions like "Portrait of a sick America" and "Duck hunting", almost disinterested. Maybe their whimsical style isn't terribly well suited for making "statements". My guess is, though, that a lot of these songs would be completely transformed when played life.
It is worth a listen but if you are new to the Creekdippers try "My Own Jo Ellen" and if you want the real low-down on America under George Bush try Steve Earle's "Jerusalem".

In Flanders Field: Poetry of the First World War
In Flanders Field: Poetry of the First World War
by Matthew George Walter
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive anthology, 6 July 2004
Having been lucky enough to see an advance copy of this anthology, I am convinced that it will come to be seen as the definitive collection of English language World War I poetry. It is a masterly display of scholarship by Professor Walter, who has achieved just the right balance between the well-known and the obscure, the populist and the more cerebral. There really is something in here for everyone - and at an extremely reasonable price.
I only had two minor quibbles, neither of which detract from the overall quality of the anthology. First, Professor Walter has controversially attributed one poem to Ezra Pound. Second, there is nothing in here by one of my favourite minor war poets, D Odger-Buxton. By continuing to ignore his dogged efforts, wrongly dismissed as barking by some, he is effectively being neutered. To be fair I understand Professor Walter had wanted to include a tribute to him but that this was vetoed by his editor. Shame on you, Penguin!

Offered by para-dise
Price: 29.98

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different String Band, but a great record, 23 Feb 2004
This review is from: Earthspan (Audio CD)
I know it is unfashionable to rate any of the String Band's Island albums as comparable to their earlier work, but for me this is second only to "5000 Spirits" for the overall quality and consistency. All of their other albums (yes, even the sacred "Hangman's Beautiful Daughter") mixed moments of genius with moments you could manage without, with just the balance between the two varying. "Earthspan" has the moments of genius - the two epics "Sunday Song" and "Seagull" - and the rest is good stuff as well. The surprise is the contribution from Malcolm and Licorice - this is probably the only album where the "extra" members enhanced the quality. Yes, if you listen to this after listening to the early albums it sounds like a different band - but what a band! Instead of being criticised for what it isn't, "Earthspan" should be appreciated for what it is - a great album.

Suite For Susan Moore And Damion: We Are One, One, All In One / Bird On A Wire
Suite For Susan Moore And Damion: We Are One, One, All In One / Bird On A Wire
Price: 11.94

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a lost classic, 20 Feb 2004
The sleeve notes of this reissue try to make out that "Suite for Susan Moore" is a lost classic. I can't agree. I found most of it dreary and self-indulgent. Of the ten tracks three are poems ("Susan" being truly particularly cringeworthy) and one is a nine minute "jam". But then in the middle of all this he pulls out "Last sweet moments" which has an Astral Weeks feel and is truly magnificent. To quote the Incredible String Band, it is like a flower growing on a rubbish heap.
"Bird on a wire" is a more even album and very listenable, while lacking anything of the quality of "Last sweet moments".
If you are already a fan of Tim Hardin, this is probably worth a listen. If not, you are much better off trying the first two albums, which really are classics.

Do You Still Feel The Same Way
Do You Still Feel The Same Way
Offered by soulsearchingplus
Price: 27.85

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovered Southern soul classic, 1 Feb 2004
I must admit I had never heard of Tommie Young previously, and only bought this because I was intrigued to hear the original version of Golden Smog's "She don't have to see you (to see through you)" - that and knowing that the involvement of Bobby Patterson as producer, writer etc is normally a mark of quality.
I'm extremely glad I did. This is a classic piece of Southern soul from the early 1970s, produced at the same time as the likes of Millie Jackson, Denise Lasalle and Shirley Brown were getting into their stride. Tommie Young deserved to be grouped with them, and for undiluted cheating songs this compares well with Shirley's "Woman to Woman" LP.
All the original album tracks are strong, with the sequence from "She don't have to see you" through to "You brought it all on yourself" the highlight. The bonus tracks, where Tommie tries a more contemporary sound, don't work as well. The honourable exception is a remake of Percy Sledge's "Take time to know her" which almost matches the original.
Magnificent. And nothing like Golden Smog.

Out of Hand
Out of Hand
Offered by rockonrecords
Price: 15.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest honky-tonk album ever, 7 Jan 2004
This review is from: Out of Hand (Audio CD)
Gary Stewart shot himself last month (December 2003). He was one of the best honky-tonk singers ever - only George Jones could match him when it came to songs about drinking in order to cope with being cuckolded. He had an exceptional, distinctive voice - think a rougher, countrified Roy Orbison and you'd be along the right lines, but you really need to hear it to understand why it works. In the wrong hands songs like "She's acting single (I'm drinking doubles)" could have been jokey, but Gary's high vibrato invests them with such emotion that you can really feel his pain.
Gary was at his peak in te 70s. This was his first, and most successful album. With great songs such as "Drinking Thing", "I see the want to in your eyes", "Williamson County" and the title track, this should be an essential buy for any fan of hardcore honky-tonk.
Southern rock fans should also enjoy tracks like "Dragging shackles", but if that is your thing you might be better off trying the 2 LPs-in-1 CD "Gary/ A cactus and a rose", the second half of which features some of the Allmans, some great songs including the magnificently moody "Harlan County Railway" and is well worth having.

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